Does this make you sick at your stomach?
On Sunday, I had dinner with a friend, lets call him “Eric.” “Eric” is a rather rabid Auburn Tiger fan; this may be a slight understatement. When discussing the above magazine and UA in general, Eric literally became nauseous. His passion for all-things Auburn emotionally and physically impacts Eric’s day-to-day life. I anticipate there are others out there like “Eric” that exist.
Or maybe this brought out a guttural hate in you:
In Alabama, most live and die Auburn or Alabama football. Most know the players, the coaches, the committed recruits, the respective number of national championships (both disputed and undisputed), and even the type of turf on the game fields and practice fields.
We demand excellence of our football programs. We demand they compete at the national championship level. This year, Alabama is ranked preseason #1 with Auburn behind at #22. (I am proud to share that Georgia Tech, my Alma mater, is ranked #16; Go Jackets.)
However, how many of us have the same level of emotional response or even basic interest for our schools educational competitiveness?
For instance, are you sickened to learn that our 15 year-olds finished 29th against the world in science literacy, according to the OECD Programme of International Student Assessment report. We finished closely behind world power-houses Iceland and Latvia and but ahead of Lithuania.
Or does our 35th ranking in Math literacy cause fire to arise in your bones? We finished behind Iceland, Latvia but also Lithuania, the Slovak Republic and Azerbaijan.
To make matters worse, these rankings are for the US in general. Alabama, as we know, typically ranks near the bottom within the US.
We must raise our expectations, standards, and interest of our schools, students, parents, and demand world class schools, “national championship” schools. Nothing less should satisfy us.
Do you know the Principal’s name? Average scores? Five-year plans of the school board? Number of days of school? Hours of instructional courses? What great books are the students reading? How many are taking calculus?